Before the ice, snow and bitter cold of winter come to Northeast Ohio, homeowners should take some time to winterize their plumbing. By following these simple steps now, you could avoid costly problems in the coming months.
- Disconnect your water hoses — if you leave a hose connected, it’s likely to freeze and expand, causing faucets and connecting pipes to freeze and break.
- Check your outdoor faucets for drips and leaks. Be sure to make any necessary repairs before winter arrives — even the slightest crack can end up releasing enough water to cause serious damage and flooding.
- If your home has interior shutoff valves that lead to outdoor faucets, close them and drain any water from outside lines.
- Protect your faucets with a Styrofoam insulation kit, which can be found at any home improvement store.
- Insulate any pipes that will be exposed to the cold temperatures. Keep in mind that pipes in unheated areas like a garage or crawl space, and any pipes that run along exterior walls are especially likely to freeze and burst in winter.
- Seal leaks around doors and windows to prevent more cold air from reaching your plumbing.
- Clear out any leaves and debris from your gutters and downspouts for better drainage throughout winter.
- If you expect to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off the main water valve and drain your system by opening faucets at the highest and lowest points of your home. Then, make sure to leave your heat on and set it no lower than 55°F.
- Check the temperature setting on your water heater's thermostat. You should set it at 120°F for optimum performance.
- Call on Blind & Sons for water heater maintenance or replacement before winter arrives.
By preparing your home’s plumbing for the cold months ahead, you’ll reduce your chances of having to deal with hassles, emergencies and unexpected expenses. And most importantly, you’ll know your family will stay safe and comfortable all winter long.
Sources: High Quality Plumbing, Great Western Plumbing